How to Fight Corporate Reform

From Parents Across America:

Feeling overwhelmed by all the negative legislation and education policies being imposed by corporate reformers on your school or district?
On Monday night, February 20th at 8 PM EST, Parents Across America will be sponsoring a conference call, open to all parents and concerned citizens, to brief you on strategies you can use to fight back against the damaging tide of privatization wreaking havoc our public schools.
When: Monday, Feb. 20 at 8 PM EST.
Conference Dial-in Number: (424) 203-8075
Participant Access Code: 1037540#
First, hear from Karran Harper Royal, a PAA founding member, about what’s happening in New Orleans, where about 75% of the schools are charters and before too long, they may all be privatized. Rather than the idealized picture portrayed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the corporate reform crowd, this has led to nightmarish experiences for many children who no longer have the right to attend their neighborhood school, and are often forced to travel hours each day on buses which their parents have to pay for especially if attending higher-performing schools.
Discrimination is especially fierce against students with disabilities. This is the future that children in many parts of the country may face if the privatizers get their way. Hear what Karran and other parents are doing to fight back, and about the lawsuit they have filed with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Then, Dora Taylor and Sue Peters, founders of PAA- Seattle, will describe how the state of Washington is experiencing the fourth push in 15 years to authorize charter schools. Washington is one of only about ten states in which charter schools are still not legal. Though the research doesn’t support charters, the backers of this campaign have deep pockets — including the Gates Foundation and the operations they fund, including Stand for Children, Inc.Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), and the League of Education Voters. Parents are also facing a barrage of potentially damaging “teacher evaluation” bills in the legislature.
The corporate reformers’ strategy is to bypass the voters and push these bills through, inundating the session with multiple bills in ‘whack a mole’ tactics. Sue and Dora will talk about how they are organizing other parents throughout the state, working with other stakeholder groups, and helping to disseminate the truth about charters and teacher evaluations to prevent these bills from being passed – in Bill Gates’ own backyard.
If you have a question in advance, please send it to


Rufus X said…
Just FYI - Arne Duncan will be tonight's guest on The Daily Show.
dan dempsey said…
Speaking of Corporate reform .... here is the latest an agreement on Teacher evaluations in NY State.

Here are two comments made online on the above:

David Rosenberg • 4 minutes ago

This is what you do as a politician, when you lack vision, your polices don't work, and you're too bullheaded to admit it. You create a diversion like "Teacher Evaluations Based on State Mandated Student Test Scores". This way the Teachers get blamed for the systems failures, and no one pays attention how much you actually SUCK!

Linda Ingmanson • February 16, 2012, 7:20 PM

Teaching has become a punitive career. Anyone going into it now must be smokin' crack or have a secret desire to be whipped and humiliated. So sad that it's gotten to this point. There's a reason teachers are abandoning the profession in droves. Expecting teachers to make all students good in all things by a certain date is like telling doctors they have to cure all their patients of all diseases by a certain date "because I said so!"
Anonymous said…
LEV apparently has a new idea. Those lame charter stories from California weren't working, so now they are posting FACT v MYTH pieces on their site. Of course, there are lies, lies and damn statistics er facts.

Counterpoints to their "facts" need to go on their public comment area.

EdVoter, I did check in at LEV and expand on their myths and the busting of. It's quite long, I'm sure they don't like it but it's all factually true. That they chose to only tell the half of the story that supports their desire for charters schools was their choice.
Anonymous said…
I think it finally dawned on me what these side show distraction teacher evaluation bills are REALLY about -

heaven forbid we look at the SYSTEM.

heaven forbid we look at the people in charge of the SYSTEM.

heaven forbid we notice that the string pullers rig the SYSTEM to benefit the string pullers.

dan dempsey said…
Let us take a closer look at Finland success....

In 1970, less than 10% of Finland's students graduated from high school. Now most students do, and Finland is one of the highest-scoring countries on the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) tests for l5-year-olds in mathematics, science and reading.
Why the dramatic gains? Finland adopted a series of reforms stressing choice and competition in higher grades and among prospective teachers. They included:

(1) Compulsory schooling through grade 9 and a common curriculum for all, with no accelerated curriculum for fast learners.
(2) Intensive support for students with special needs.
(3) Choice of an academic or vocational high school after grade 9. Students are entitled to considerable "counseling and career guidance" in grades 7, 8, and 9 to "reduce the risk" that they make "ill-informed decisions." Although students may have to pay for their books, meals, and transportation, upper secondary school is free.
(4) A highly competitive process for admission to a demanding university-based teacher-training program, whether for kindergarten, elementary, or secondary teaching.

What are the biggest factors in Finland's increased achievement?

A... The splitting of their student population into academic and vocational tracts.

B... The next biggest factors are choice and competition. US schools do neither of these. If Finland was spending the lion's share of their resources trying to bring the low end of the vocational track up to the same standards as the academic track their success rate would be miserable. Unfortunately, that is the exact strategy being implemented across this country. That strategy has never worked in the past, it doesn't work now, and it won't work in the future. The real result of this strategy is the expensive downward spiral of the US school system, a sight we are all witnessing.

RttT and Common Core State Standards are straight from the Corporate Reform Crowd.

It muust also be noted that the PISA test tells us little about Finnish students preparedness for highly technical fields like engineering.
Anonymous said…
Everything I've posted today could fit right here. I watched Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address. I wondered what his father was thinking. So, my only parting response:

Chris Gregoire is a woman finishing her term as governor. Instead of acting like the men, I looked to her to reflect the values of women and speak the truth. Until society rids itself of the ideology of greed and until we quit worshiping the wealthy, children will be sacrificed and teachers will be the scaptegoats.

I expected better than that, Christine Gregoire, when I voted for you.


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